I am starting off with the Governor's Palace. We didn't get off the main street this time. No photos closer up, except for the one I cropped below.
The Governor's Palace was the official residence for the royal governors of colonial Virginia during much of the 18th century. It was constructed in 1706-1722 and housed seven royal governors and two post-colonial governors, Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson. The house served as a hospital for American soldiers during the Battle of Yorktown in 1781, and was destroyed by fire later that year. (I couldn't find out what caused the fire.) The site ended up in the possession of The College of William and Mary, which erected two school buildings near where the Palace once stood. The property was purchased by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in 1928. In 1930 archaeologist from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation excavated the site and uncovered the original foundation. The entire palace was reconstructed in 1934, and it opened to the public as part of Colonial Williamsburg on April 23, 1934. Originally decorated with inaccurate Colonial Revival style antiques, the interior was refurnished in 1981 with pieces better representing the Palace’s 18th century décor. Additional changes were made in 2006 to reflect the Palace’s appearance during the residency of Lord Dunmore. Today the Governor’s Palace is a part of Colonial Williamsburg. You can purchase a ticket which will include most buildings (not the ones privately owned obviously) in Colonial Williamsburg. You can take a self-guided tour of the Governor’s Palace, information of rates and times can be found at the visitor center at this link.
Queen Elizabeth II visited Williamsburg and Yorktown in 1957 and 2007, which you can read about here. Winston Churchill before her in 1946. There is a website at this link with old photos of other notables. You have to scroll down to see, but the information is an interesting read also.
Carriage rides seem to be very popular, though I have never taken one in all the years we have been visiting. We have just enjoyed walking around but maybe one day we will take a ride.
The history the Duke of Gloucester Street can be found here.
It said that the street began as a narrow trace. I assumed 'trace' was the same as a trail (with other meanings), and the definition of 'trace' in this instance means a path, trail or road made by the passage of animals, people or vehicles.
The Courthouse was constructed from 1770 to 1771. As Clerk of Courts, it fell to Benjamin Waller to read aloud the Declaration of Independence here on July 25th, 1776, after it arrived from Philadelphia.
The old stocks were not in use for photo ops. There was a sign explaining why, and I read online that they are perhaps getting too old for safe use.
The Duke of Gloucester Street is lined with these lovely colonial homes. A few are privately owned, so make sure you are not having a looky-loo in someone's garden before checking to see if there is a sign out front. I am not saying the building below is one of those homes, I don't know. It's good to check though.
Next is the Greenhow Store which "offers a variety of colonial items similar to those sold by Mr. Greenhow in the 18th century, including wrought iron, willow baskets, fabrics, tinware and porcelain."
John Greenhow came from High House near Kendal in England, and settled in Williamsburg, America. The emigrant ancestor of the Greenhows in America was a prosperous merchant of Williamsburg, carrying quality merchandise and fine teas. He was active in the commercial and social life of Williamsburg for more than a third of a century.
Next is the home of Catherine Blaikely, explanation in the photo below this one.
There is a fascinating podcast about being a midwife in colonial times, not for everyone I know but its more historical than anything else. You can listen to it at this link.
Next you can see another building with a ladder on the roof, which is there in case of fire. It is the Hartwell Perry Ordinary. Hartwell Perry was the gentleman proprietor. An Ordinary was similar to a tavern or inn but was usually less elegant.
The sign outside is a rebus based on his name (rebus is defined as a representation of words or syllables by pictures of objects or by symbols whose names resemble the intended words or syllables in sound. Also, a riddle made up of such pictures or symbols). Now when I go back, I will be looking at all the signs hanging by these shops, trying to figure them all out. For this 'rebus', someone explained that a male deer is known as 'hart', the 'well' is another part of his name). Perry (as in his last name) is a drink made from pears. I found a blog that shows how Perry is made if you'd like to take a look. You can see it here.
My research takes me all over the place. And to repeat something I have perhaps shared before, my parents always said, "She was always a very curious child." I am not sure that was meant to be said as a good thing or a bad thing, hehehe! They loved me, that's all that counts.
Also, Gregg made a good point, that many people in those days were not taught to read, and the signs would point them in the right direction.
The last two photos I took I was near Merchant Square, and looking at a sign in the flower bed. At the bottom it thanks us for giving the Ground wasps their space, and a short explanation of how they protect our deciduous trees. At this link you can read more about them, but here are a few facts:
Solitary wasps are common beneficial insects in landscapes * they hunt and capture other insects or spiders to feed their young * they are not aggressive toward people and rarely sting * Solitary wasps should be tolerated and ignored whenever possible.
And, if you enlarge the sign below, you will read that they are Cicada killers and protect deciduous trees from leaf damaged caused by Cicadas.
I found two interesting articles, the first of a blogger on a walking tour around Williamsburg. You will find it here. Also, a gentleman who is one of those in costume, was interviewed here.
That's about all for now, and the 'curious child' is going to give you all a break. This will be the last of my photos from Colonial Williamsburg, until we can go next time. We are hoping to see it all decorated for the holidays before the end of the year. Fingers crossed!
Have a great weekend everyone.